Courtesy of San Benito High School:
San Benito High School environmental science students and teachers, along with staff and administrators, celebrated the connection of the new solar photovoltaic system and the success of the campus energy efficiency and renewable energy program with a ceremonial flipping of the switch and green ribbon cutting in Baler Alley on Friday.
To date, the district has saved close to $300,000 as a result of energy measures, including building automation systems, the conversion to LED lights and the installation of solar panels that convert sunlight into electricity using semiconductors.
“Just over two years ago, San Benito High School District embarked on a mission to become more energy efficient, environmentally conscious, and do our part to slow the dramatic effects of climate change,” Superintendent Dr. Shawn Tennenbaum said during the ceremony. He thanked energy efficiency partner Climatec with helping the district achieve environmental benefits thus far that are equivalent to removing 160 cars off the road, saving nearly 87,000 gallons of gasoline, preserving nearly 23,000 trees from deforestation and powering 114 Hollister homes.
Tennenbaum thanked the students in Ryan Shorey’s and Chip Gauvreau’s Intro to Environmental Science and Advanced Placement Environmental Science classes for attending, noting that “it is vital that we all work together to support environmentally-sound decisions as we work toward a brighter future.
Gauvreau, who is also the advisor of the Environmental Club on campus, said that during his 20 years in education, he has seen “time and time again, the caring, drive and compassion that our students have for the planet and the world around them.” He told the students at the ceremony that they “will face the consequences of climate change and pollution,” but he knows they want to make a difference. “I have faith that you will.”
Gauvreau said he is reminded of the saying, “We don’t inherit the Earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children.”
Climatec Manager Rob Reading said the “reliable, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly” energy efficiency upgrades and additions on campus make San Benito High School “more comfortable and energy conscious,” while creating a “living laboratory” for students to study the benefits of and consider a career in green technologies.
The ceremony included a ceremonial flipping of the switch by SBHS District Chief Budget Officer Roseanne Lascano and a green ribbon cutting by Environmental Club President Breanna Rosas.